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Dying Easter Eggs the Natural Way

By Claudia Cater, Eau Claire Health Department Dying Easter eggs is a tradition for many families. Why not try making Easter eggs with your children or grandchildren with natural dyes instead of a commercial egg dying kit? You can avoid the use of chemicals by using food items, such as lemon peels or orange peels, to make a natural dye for Easter eggs. Michigan State University Extension offers the following tips to help you when using natural ingredients to dye hard boiled eggs: • Listed below are natural dyestuffs you can use to dye eggs. Use your own judgment about quantity and start by placing two or three handfuls of a dyestuff in a saucepan. • Add tap water to come at least an inch above the dyestuff. Bring the mixture to a boil. • Reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes or up to an hour until the color is the shade you desire. Keep in mind that eggs will dye a lighter shade than what it appears to be. • Remove the pan from the heat. • Strain the dye mixture into a small, deep bowl using cheesecloth or a fine sieve. • Add one tablespoon of white vinegar for each cup of liquid. • With a spoon or wire egg holder, lower the eggs into the hot liquid and let them stand until they reach the desired color. • With a slotted spoon or wire egg holder, remove the eggs to a drainer. Allow the eggs to dry thoroughly. • Naturally dyed eggs tend to have a duller finish than commercially dyed eggs. For a soft shine, after drying, rub with cooking or mineral oil. • Be sure to refrigerate eggs within two hours of cooking and dying.

Natural Dyestuff                                                                                                      Color Fresh beets, cranberries, radishes, or frozen raspberries                                   Pinkish red Yellow onion skins                                                                                                      Orange Orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed, or ground cumin                  Delicate yellow Ground turmeric                                                                                                         Yellow Spinach leaves                                                                                                             Pale yellow Yellow Delicious apple peels                                                                                    Green-gold Canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves                                                            Blue Strong brewed coffee                                                                                                 Beige to brown Dill seeds                                                                                                                      Brown-gold Chili powder                                                                                                                Brown-orange Purple or red grape juice, or beet juice                                                                  Grey

Claudia Cater is a registered dietitian with the Eau Claire Health Department, mother of three, and grandmother of one. A favorite family event is dying Easter eggs.

#naturaldyecolors #naturaldye #dyingeastereggs #dyeeastereggsnaturally #naturalwaystodyeeastereggs

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